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Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2019 Jun;27(6):871-877. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2019.01.005. Epub 2019 Jan 22.

Opioid use in knee or hip osteoarthritis: a region-wide population-based cohort study.

Author information

1
Lund University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Orthopedics, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Lund, Sweden; Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark. Electronic address: jthorlund@health.sdu.dk.
2
Lund University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Orthopedics, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Lund, Sweden.
3
GREMPAL (Grup de Recerca en Epidemiologia de Les Malalties Prevalents de L'Aparell Locomotor), Idiap Jordi Gol Primary Care Research Institute and CIBERFes, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Barcelona, Spain; Pharmaco- and Device Epidemiology, Centre for Statistics in Medicine - Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, And Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, UK.
4
Lund University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Orthopedics, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Lund, Sweden; Clinical Epidemiology Research and Training Unit, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To quantify opioid use in knee and hip osteoarthritis (OA) patients, and to estimate the proportion of opioids in the population attributable to OA patients.

DESIGN:

Population-based cohort study.

METHODS:

We included 751,579 residents in southern Sweden, aged ≥35 years in 2015. Doctor-diagnosed knee or hip OA between 1998 and 2015 was the exposure. Dispensed weak and strong opioids were identified between November 2013 and October 2015 from the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register (SPDR). We determined age- and sex-standardized 12-month period prevalence of opioid use from November 2014 until October 2015 and calculated prevalence ratios and incidence rate ratios adjusted for age, sex, and other socio-demographic variables. We estimated the population attributable fraction (PAF) of incident opioid use attributable to OA patients.

RESULTS:

The 12-month prevalence of opioid use among OA patients was 23.7% [95% confidence intervals (CI) 23.3-24.2], which was two-fold higher compared to individuals without knee or hip OA: prevalence ratio: 2.1 [95% CI 2.1-2.1]. Similarly, OA patients were more likely to have an incident opioid dispensation, especially for strong opioids (incidence rate ratio: 2.6 [95% CI 2.5-2.7]). Population attributable tractions (PAF) of incident opioid use attributable to OA patients was 12%, 9% for weak and 17% for strong opioids.

CONCLUSIONS:

Every fourth patient with knee or hip OA has opioids dispensed over a 1-year period, and 12% of incident opioid dispensations are attributable to OA and/or its related comorbidities. These results highlight that patients with knee and hip OA constitute a group of patients with an alarmingly high use of opioids.

KEYWORDS:

Analgesics; Epidemiology; Opioids; Osteoarthritis; Pain; Pharmacology

PMID:
30682417
DOI:
10.1016/j.joca.2019.01.005

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